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No-run treadmill workout

Just because you’re not a runner doesn’t mean you can’t get hot and sweaty with the treadmill this Valentine’s Day. (See what I did there?) Some days I’m just not motivated for my workout. Usually, if I can just get my butt into my workout clothes and out the door, the rest is easy. But… some days when I get to the gym, face-to-face with whatever torture machine I’ve planned on using, I become even less motivated.

It’s best to have a backup plan ready for these situations, and there are several great reasons to keep this one in your back pocket. For starters, because it’s a walking workout, I immediately scoff and think ‘Oh, I can handle this.’ Also, because it’s broken down into short intervals, I can avoid the boredom that can come with longer workouts.

So that’s how I trick myself… but once I’m about 8 minutes in (when it’s too late to turn back), I remember why this no-run workout actually kind of sucks. The steep incline gets my heart rate up right away. The ‘no hands’ intervals force my glutes and hamstrings to work to keep up with the speed of the treadmill while my core is working to keep me balanced. The backwards intervals felt a little silly the first time I did them, but eventually I came to appreciate the unexpected switch.

Try out this no-run interval workout and let me know what you think!

no run workout

Need something nerdy to keep you moving (and distracted)? I listened to this episode of Reply All while I did this workout.

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A pesto recipe that’s smart, like you

Let’s talk food. Food for nerds. Rather… food for people who want to eat smart. This recipe isn’t the healthiest one you’ll ever save (although it does have some great power ingredients), and it doesn’t meet your daily requirements for… well… anything. But the reason I’m calling this green goodness smart is because it’s easy, inexpensive and it can top off so many nutritious foods. You know, the ones that do meet your daily protein, fiber or veggie goals. And of course, it’s pretty delicious.

Truly, the best thing about this pesto (really any homemade pesto), is that you can pipe it into an ice cube tray, freeze it and then bring it back for an encore appearance 2 weeks later.

basil pesto

Here are a few ideas to get you going:

My favorite way to enjoy pesto is on grilled salmon, chicken or pork chops. I’m not going to pretend that I enjoy any of these foods on their own. Adding pesto tricks me into thinking I actually like these things.

Pesto salmon or tuna salad sandwiches Mix tuna, mayo, onion and a spoonful of pesto to give your tuna/salmon salad sandwich some pizzazz. Not interested in all the extra calories from mayo? Try replacing half of the mayo with non-fat greek yogurt.

On corn-on-the-cobb in place of butter

Spread pesto on naan bread in place of tomato sauce to make a personal pizza. Sprinkle feta cheese and tomatoes or kalamata olives on top of the pesto, or any ingredients you have on hand. Grill or toast the “pizza” until the cheese melts.

Exchange the mayo for pesto on a BLT, or add some kick to a grilled cheese sandwich by spreading pesto on the inside of the bread slices.



Amazing Pesto with No Cheese
Makes 8 Servings; 1 Tablespoon

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
3 raw garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Add walnuts and garlic to the food processor and pulse a few times until they are minced. Add the basil leaves and pulse until leaves are chopped, but not liquefied. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on until the basil mixture is the consistency of applesauce. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula, as needed. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper a little at a time until you’re satisfied with the taste. Serve right away, refrigerate and serve within 3 days, or pipe into an ice cube tray and freeze for up to 3 months.

Serving size: 1 tablespoon; Calories 89; Total Fat 9.4 g (Saturated Fat 1.1 g) Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 74 mg; Sugars 0.1g; Protein 1.5 g; Dietary Fiber .5g; Vitamin A 6%; Vitamin C 2%; Calcium 2%; Iron 2%

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Anatomy of a lunge

Lunges are a great way to work your glutes and hamstrings. (Aka… work that booty!) Step out with your right leg into the position below. Then repeat with your left leg.


  1. Chest up, don’t lean forward
  2. Your front knee should be at a 90 degree angle and not in front of your toes
  3. Your back knee is also bent and slightly wider than a 90 degree angle
  4. Keep feet shoulder width apart while stepping into your lunge

Try these two variations:

  1. Walking lunge: step out with your right foot into a lunge, then bring your left foot up to meet your right foot in a standing position. Repeat with your left leg. Kind of like you’re taking very long step (with great lunge form, of course!)
  2. Reverse lunge: Instead of stepping forward into a lunge, step backward. Remember to keep your weight on your front leg.

Put it all together. Learn how to do a plank, then try this:

20 walking lunges, alternating between each leg
30 second plank
(4 rounds)

20 reverse lunges, alternating between each leg
Plank with leg lift: begin in a plank position, lift your right leg for 15 seconds. Then repeat on the left.
(4 rounds)

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Anatomy of a plank

Planks are a great way to strengthen your arms and core while practicing balance and stability. However, improper form might mean you’re working the wrong muscles. Bookmark, pin or print the diagram below to guarantee proper planking!

Photo Feb 14, 1 17 14 PM

  1. Elbows directly under shoulders, straight legs
  2. Flat back and tight core
  3. Head neutral with chin up
  4. Tight glutes and hamstrings

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